Machine learning is a method of predictive data analysis that automates the dissemination of information that would otherwise remain hidden or dormant. Every year data sets are getting larger. Not only have the observations grown, but the number of observed attributes has also increased significantly. The structure of the data has become more complex, moving beyond numbers and character strings to include images, video, audio, documents and web pages.
Behind all the massive amounts of complex data, machine learning seeks to create, in terms of simple relativity, a model with a small number of hidden factors and their interactions.
While many machine learning algorithms have been around for a long time, the ability to automatically apply complex mathematical calculations to big data is a recent development. The growing volumes and varieties of available data, computational processing that is cheaper and more powerful, and affordable data storage have caused a resurging interest in machine learning.